British Columbia

Goodbye growlers: 'Yeast Van' brewery phasing out refillable jugs over beer quality concerns

'This era of growler fills was hip for a minute, but we are just not feeling it anymore,' said Strathcona Beer Company on social media.

The heartbreak of flat beer is just one reason Strathcona Beer Company says it's getting rid of refills

A growler is refilled at Schlafly in St. Louis, Mo. The refillable jugs are on their way out at Strathcona Beer Company in East Vancouver. (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

The refillable brown jug so famously associated with B.C.'s craft brewing industry is about to become a thing of the past at one Vancouver microbrewery.

Strathcona Beer Company announced it is ending growler fills at its East Vancouver location by January 2020.

On Facebook, the company cited the heartbreak of flat beer as one reason for the decision.

"Despite the decent revenue stream and all that, we simply do not want to continue to sell our beer in a package that does not preserve the freshness and quality of our product," reads the post. 

"This era of growler fills was hip for a minute, but we are just not feeling it anymore."

Growlers were all the rage in the earlier days of the Vancouver craft beer scene, touted as a sustainable and inexpensive way for craft beer connoisseurs to carry and consume their favourite beverage. 

But Strathcona says too many dirty, chipped and hard-to-seal growlers are ruining their ability to maintain quality control, and that cans and bottles are simply better.

Like many craft breweries, Strathcona has also invested in new canning equipment.

"Craft brewers are looking for the freshest, best possible product ... so in order to keep the freshness and the best quality possible for the expensive ingredients they use, you'll always need kind of advancements in technology," said Ken Beattie, executive director of the B.C. Craft Brewers Guild.

Strathcona is offering a $5 credit for the return of their branded growlers.

With files from GP Mendoza


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